Reviews Zone

Stray Live At The Marquee: Remastered & Expanded Edition (Esoteric Recordings) April 27th 2018




4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)




I have a confession to make…I have exclusively heard the as yet unreleased new solo album from Stray singer, guitarist and song writer Del Bromham, to be called “White Feather”. I have to say; it is a mighty piece of work.

So, you Stray fans watch out, but…it is NOT a Stray album.  This is Bromham calling upon all of his personal influences, so it’s a mixed bag of styles, but this fresh self-penned material fits Del like a glove.  I can affirm too, that his voice and guitar playing never sounded so strong. My insider information can reveal that this will hit the shops sometime in late 2018 hopefully, well worth waiting for.

But if we wind back the clock some 34 years, Del and his legendary British rock band Stray were blowing the roof off of iconic London venue The Marquee. When Del was the lead guitarist with the band, before he took over on vocals too.

That incendiary set was captured on tape for release as the 1984 album “Live At The Marquee”. That album was the first to be released by the band since their 1977 offering, “Hearts Of Fire”, after which they took a hiatus.

Del on guitar, Pete Dyer on lead vocals, Gary Giles on bass and Ritchie Coe on drums, re-united in 83 to play this triumphant concert, giving fans many Stray classics such as “All In Your Mind”, “Suicide”, “One Night In Texas” and “Houdini”, all included on this 1984-released album.

Unavailable on CD for more than 15 years, Esoteric Recordings have re-mastered the tracks from the original master tapes, and it has been expanded to include the bonus track “Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before”, recorded at the same concert. There’s also both sides of a rare solo single by Del Bromham, issued in 1979; “Who Do You Love” and “The Best Friend I Ever Had” appearing on CD for the first time.

In 1966, England won the World Cup, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, and three young teenagers formed a band at Christopher Wren School in London. Their average age was just 14.

Within three years they’d become regulars on the London club circuit, performing at such venues as Shepherds Bush Goldhawk Club, Covent Garden’s Middle Earth, The Marquee Club and The Roundhouse. (They were the youngest ever to play at The Roundhouse).

In late 1969, Stray signed to Transatlantic Records and in 1970 their first, and now legendary album, “Stray”, was released. Some years later, Iron Maiden recorded their song, “All In Your Mind”, the extended opening track from Stray’s debut album. Iron Maiden subsequently asked Stray to join them on their 2003 European Tour.

Stray appeared at their first Reading Festival in 1971, and made their television debut, on BBC 2. Stray have continued to tour in Europe, the UK and Japan and have toured with literally hundreds of the biggest names in music.

Stray have released 11 studio albums, four live albums and various compilation releases; on labels including Universal, Pye, Sanctuary and Castle. Esoteric Records put out “All In Your Mind” in October 2017, a compilation of the first five Stray albums (originally on Transatlantic Records) plus various radio sessions. The second release on Esoteric dropped in November 2017, “Fire & Glass”, a compilation of the three albums recorded on the PYE label.

Famous fans of Del and of the band Stray, include Gene Simmons of Kiss, Alice Cooper, Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, Leslie West of Mountain, Julian Cope of Teardrop Explodes, Captain Sensible of The Damned, Terry Reid, Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin (The Quireboys) and Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel. The late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister was a big admirer of Del, too. Del’s two released solo albums are: “The Devils Highway” and “Nine Yards”, both on Angel Air Records.

The booklet for this new “Live At The Marquee” CD restores the original album artwork and features an essay by music writer Malcolm Dome and an exclusive interview with Del Bromham.


By Simon Redley




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